South East Wales

Cardiff Foodbank opens seventh centre in city

Helen Bull
Image caption Helen Bull (right, with volunteer Sheila) said people were coming to food banks 'for a myriad of reasons'

The network of food banks in Cardiff has expanded, with organisers saying people on low incomes and from "all walks of life" are using the service.

A seventh distribution centre has officially opened in Grangetown.

City-wide figures for August showed 1,238 adults and children were given emergency food parcels - up from just over 900 in the same month in 2015.

"We're coming across people from across the social spectrum," said Helen Bull, partnership and fundraising manager.

"It's not just people from disadvantaged backgrounds or on benefits, we're seeing people on low incomes.

"People are doing all they can to make ends meet but they can be one event away from a crisis - it could be losing a job, or a boiler or car breaking down, or being victims of domestic violence. It really can happen to anyone"

Cardiff Foodbank collects donations of food at a distribution warehouse in Splott and at some supermarkets.

People in need of three days' worth of food are issued with vouchers from 120 different organisations, health and care workers.

Last week, it distributed two tonnes worth of food - with donors able to check online what is needed.

Current shortages include tinned fruit and vegetables and UHT milk.

In 2015-16, just over 12,000 parcels were distributed to 8,000 different people in the city, with numbers on course to rise again this year.

There are spikes during the year - including over the summer, when children do not get free school meals.


In the last week of August, 116 children and 155 adults were helped in Cardiff.

Food bank trustee Jules Ashton-Davies said: "It still takes a great deal of courage to come to a food bank".

Image caption The church produced commemorative chocolate to mark the occasion

Grangetown Baptist Church will host the new food bank every Friday afternoon, with a team of volunteers helping with the welcome.

Minister David Evans, who was handing out commemorative chocolate bars at the opening, said: "It's important to make people feel they have something to give to society."

Ms Bull added: "If people are struggling to pay for food then they will also be struggling for bus or train fare so it's important we can be as local as possible for them."

Susan Elsmore, cabinet member for health, housing and wellbeing, said Cardiff Council was keen to support the network and was bidding to be able to employ two workers to help with income management and welfare issues.

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